Hall of Stone Campaign:
Social Abilities

I’d like to change character abilities from traits to actions. For example, instead of the trait “diplomatic,” I’d rather a character have the ability “Smooth over rough social situations.” You can still call the ability “diplomatic,” but it’s functionality is described by what the character can do, not just what the character is. The way this works is that you can be expected to do what your ability says, unless there’s opposition. If there’s opposition, we need some sort of roll off.

Abilities need to be pretty modest, since they’re successful by default. Let’s experiment by giving each social ability a one-use special effect. This is an extraordinary capacity that’s only going to fire once per adventure. For example, the social ability “Diplomatic: smooth over rough spots” might have the one-shot ability “shift blame.” Once per adventure, the character could deflect blame from one person to another. It’s not so much a magical ability that always works, but an agreement between the player and GM that this is something that the character should be able to succeed at if it’s plausible and there’s no particular resistance.

I’ve got ideas for how one-shots would refresh, but let’s keep it simple to start.

Unsettling Aura—Unnerve commoners, impress sorcerers, make a powerful impression, make dogs leave you alone. One-shot: make someone quail before you and give in, even if doing so will get them in trouble.

Heavenly Looks—Win favors from the appropriate sex, get dates, attract attention, serve as a distraction. One-shot: entice a susceptible person to violate protocol or duty.

Golden Tongue—Make a good first impression, get someone to say more than they normally would, flatter to gain favor. One-shot: get someone to reach a positive conclusion about you against reasonable (but not ironclad) evidence.

The following material about social abtilities is original and outdated, but still useful for seeing what sorts of social abilities are possible.

You start with 3 social powers, at +3, +2, and +1 (your pick). Each level, you gain +1 on all current socials and get another at +1.


Access to things or people that others don’t have.

Circle of Contacts



Affect how others react to you.

Priestly Demeanor—

Unsettling Aura—Good for intimidating commoners, impressing sorcerers, withstanding disgust, etc.

Heavenly Looks—Good for winning favors from the appropriate sex, getting dates, attracting attention, etc.

Golden Tongue—Good for making first impressions, picking up information, reciting poetry, etc.

Showman’s Gift—Good for working a crowd, preaching, extoling, etc.

Innocent Demeanor—Appear harmless when a normal man would look threatening.

Forceful Tone

Bold Heart

Charmed Life

Sorcerer’s Distracting Gaze: Illegal, but handy. You have to look at the target, but that’s about all, so it’s easy to get away with if no one’s looking for it.

Page’s Shameless Tongue: Buttering up superiors, ingratiating yourself to your betters, obtaining mercy, etc.

Aridani Allure: The gender switch is significant enough that people react in various ways, some negative and some positive. Women may be jealous or admiring. Men may be threatened or intrigued. You’ve learned to use both negative and positive feelings for your own purposes.

Born Leader:



Gain information.

Sense of Intentions Unspoken—Pick up a vibe off another character.

Gladiator’s Seasoned Eye—Size up an enemy’s physical capabilities.

Sorcerous Eye for Weakness

Divine Sense of the Twisted Soul



Temple Dancer

Priestly Status—Good for winning special privileges, making a good impression, etc.

Favored at the Temple of Chegarra

Clan’s Golden Child

Initiate of the Brotherhood of the Red Skull (renowned scholarly sect under Thumis)

Former Runaway (knowledge of the clanless and their ways)

Veteran of the Doommarch (catastrophically failed invasion of Hlutgru territory)

Storied Lover



- - -

How often is it useful?

When it’s useful, how useful is it?

Pleasant singing voice. Not often useful, and not terribly useful when it is. Big bonus.

Discern Lies. Often useful, and quite useful. Small bonus.

Illegitimate Son of the Governor. Not often useful, but quite useful when it is.

April 2007



Tsolyani weapons are big and outlandish.